My daughter wrote this essay while still in high school in 2004. She was recognized by the governor of the state in front of the state legislature as being the best writer in the entire state for 11th and 12th graders… she was in 11th at the time.
A Children’s Story to Honor Teachers
by Gina Hief
A little boy lived in a little house on a little street in a little state named Arizona. A little palm tree grew outside the little window of his little room. For five years, he was content with his little life. The day came, however, when the little boy felt that his world was too… little. The little boy was ready to grow.
On his first day of kindergarten, the boy was so excited to meet new people that he shouted clear across the room right in the middle of class. The Arizona teacher’s kind eyes met the boy’s, and with a soft smile she said, “Mind your manners.” The little boy never spoke out of turn again and his nominal world grew a bit bigger that day.
Years later, when he was in 6th grade, the boy had a terrible time in math. It seemed bizarre that anyone could divide one number from another. Just when the boy was ready to give up, the Arizona teacher looked at him through her pointy glasses and said, “If you don’t get it right the first time, always try it again.” The boy kept trying until he found that math was his favorite subject. His world grew 2×3 sizes that year.
As a senior in high school, the boy was almost a man. He, now, had a difficult decision to make: “What should I do with my life?” In his darkest hour, the new Arizona teacher on campus offered the boy some advice. He said, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” From that moment on, the boy’s world expanded continuously until it transcended all boundaries and became an endless field of opportunity.
Years passed and the boy, who was now a man, became especially interested in a beautiful woman whose aura flooded the room with joy. The man took the beautiful woman out to dinner one evening. He was very nervous; however, his fears were silenced when he heard the voice of his first teacher echoing in his brain. “Mind your manners.” The night passed perfectly for the man, and eventually they married.
The man, very qualified, now needed a job; however, he kept getting rejected. When at last he was ready to give up, he remembered: “If you don’t get it right the first time, always try it again.” The man, inspired by his 6th grade teacher’s words, applied himself once more, and received his first position as a teacher.
At last, the man had a little house and a little boy all his own. One night, while the little boy sat on his father’s lap as a child sits on Santa’s, he asked, “Daddy, can I be an astronaut when I grow up?” The man smiled affably and, quoting his favorite teacher said, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” The little boy’s world opened up that night, and he began to grow.
Gina is absolutely amazing. She is also a publish poet at this point. I’ll try to find the poem and reprint it here too.